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organs of speech to declare the Divine Will, instead of their own sentiments; and that the LORD also, by a divine energy, directed the Prophets where to go, and what to do, instead of leaving them to consult their own reason for expedients, in cases relating to their prophetic office.
THE REIGN OF JEROBOAM, KING OF ISRAEL.
From 1 Kings, Chap. xii, xiii, xiv.
THEN Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein, and went out from thence, and built Penuel.
And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: if this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall
kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.
Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto the people, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan.
And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
And he made a house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.
And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month,
on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar, (so did he in Beth-el) sacrificing unto the calves that he hád made; and he placed in Bethrel the priests of the high places which he had made.
So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Beth-el, the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart: and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel, and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.
And behold there came a man of God out of Judah, by the word of the LORD unto Beth-el: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name, and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high-places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee.
And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.
And it came to pass when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of GoD, which had cried against the altar in Beth-el, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.
The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of GoD had given by the word of the LORD.
And the king answered and said unto the man of Gon,* Intreat now the face of the LORD thy GOD, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And
the man of GOD besought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.
And the king said unto the man of GoD, come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.
And the man of GoD said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread, nor drink water in this place.
For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.
So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Beth-el.
After this thing, Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people, priests of the high-places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.
And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth.
At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam and get thee to Shiloh; behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people.
And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child.
And Jeroboam's wife did so, and arose and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah: but Ahijah could not see, for his eyes were set by reason of his age. And the LORD said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son, for he is sick: thus and thus shalt thou say unto her: for it shall
shall be when she cometh in, that she shall feign herself to be another woman.
And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, and she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam, why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings.
Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the LORD GOD of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel.
And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee; and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes, but hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back.
Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every man, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.
Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city, shall the dogs eat: and him that dieth in the field, shall the fowls of the air eat for the LORD hath spoken it.
Arise thou, therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die, And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing towards the LORD GOD of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam.
Moreover, the LORD shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day: For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in
the water, and He shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger.
And he shall give Israel up, because of the sin of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin.
And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: and when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died.
And they buried him, and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by the hand of his servant Ahijah the prophet.
And the days which Jeroboam reigned, were two and twenty years: and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his stead.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
Jeroboam soon forgot the admonitions of the prophet, and brought the curse of God upon himself by the abominable practice of idolatry. It seems that he apprehended Rehoboam would have the advantage, and entice the people back to himself, if they continued to resort to the Temple at JERUSALEM; he therefore studied for an expedient to prevent them.
In Solomon's reign the people built them high places on every hill, and under every green tree; and did according to all the abominations of the nations, which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel; so they were easily induced to forsake the LORD.
Jeroboam knew that he had not the means to build a temple to vie with that of Solomon, but something he thought he must do to prevent the desertion of his people. Having resided for a long time in Egypt, he wished to form an alliance with that country, with a view to strengthen his power. Among their numerous idols the Egyptians